Empire Avenue, the social stock market, yesterday released an upgrade allowing members to increase the maximum amount of shares they can hold in other people and companies listed on the exchange. It set of a bit of a frenzy on the site, and also underlined a bit of the problem it has around community engagement.
There are a number of distinct types of people interested in Empire Avenue, but to focus on the networking aspect, buying of shares is a key component. Buying shares is how you connect, and when the site was brand new, everyone had very little virtual currency and purchases were a big deal. For new members now, many of the mature players are out of reach for buying. And many of the mature players long ago maxed shares in hundreds if not thousands of people and no longer connect around buying.
Wealth disparities and max holds discourage networking on Empire Avenue.
Thanks to the added ability to buy shares, I heard yesterday from many folks I really like on the site but had not interacted with for months.
For those playing Empire Avenue, did you experience the same? What other networking bottlenecks occur due the design of online networks?
photo by kurafire
Dan Slee, my favorite gov Flickr user, has sparked a new group after finding none dedicated to local government. It's called "Local Government Does Some Brilliant Things." (That's one of Dan's photos from the new group, of the Walsall Library, above.)
Dan asks folks to join and submit their pics of local gov in action.
"Basically, it's pics of stuff with a local government connection. It's borough, district and parish. They may be shots of a park, a bit of countryside that's council owned, people emptying bins. Or even roads. Or new buildings. Or an event. Anything in fact."
Thanks, Dan! Expect my contributions posthaste.
In the 16 months I've spent on Empire Avenue, I've met many of the world's best networkers, visionaries and strategists. It's a fun bunch for sure.
And in the past few months, we've built out quite a community on other networks through the "[X] Bar" group of Empire Avenue fans. With that community, we've done fun stuff like the regular "Xpendapalooza" buying sprees, and several of us are working on "[X] Bar Gives" activities to extend our Empire Avenue community's influence in support of worthy charities.
If you're not on Empire Avenue, join here. If you're not in the [X] Bar Facebook group, that's here.
Sometimes, though, it can be challenging to figure out exactly how to network when in large part Empire Avenue is constructed like a game. We build out all these networks to improve our connection scores - what then? It can also be a bit confusing trying to figure out exactly what is and isn't allowed in various moderated communities based on Empire Avenue connections.
So, I want to make it very clear: The [X] Bar community on Facebook and elsewhere is meant to be about much more than Empire Avenue the game. It is a place where you can feel free to share a blog post you're proud of, a particular business goal or achievement you're excited about, or a personal story. In fact, that kind of content is even better than the next Empire Avenue milestone or goal (we'll see those in your new badges on the Empire Avenue site!). The community is moderated by a bunch of great folks who exercize discretion in keeping the community spam-free and conversational.
To help folks increase the value of their networks, today we're announcing a new [X] Bar tradition - the "Happy 24 Hours," a Sunday-through-Monday opportunity to share your personal, business and other goals and updates about what's important to you. Forget about the dividends for a minute and share what's up with you. We'd love to hear it! (And thanks to Felissa Elfenbein for the idea!)
Citizen media meets the Gov 2.0 movement:
K12 News Network has put NCLB (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act -- ESEA 2002) online in a searchable and commentable format. For this project, and K12NN's collaboration on a Google-maps based tool that showed the effect of an all-cuts budget on California school districts, K12NN CEO/Founder Cynthia Liu won the 2011 HTC Innovator Award at this year's BlogHer.com in San Diego.
“We were thrilled to have HTC as a Platinum sponsor at BlogHer ’11 this year, not only sponsoring our flagship Voices of the Year initiative, but introducing this new Innovator Award from our stage,” said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc. “We were looking for creativity and originality amongst the dozens of submissions, and we were so pleased to highlight one of the longtime members of our community with the Award.”
Receiving the award in front of the nation's 4,000 most web-savvy women was key because it's time for stakeholders to articulate what changes to NCLB should be made instead of simply letting the law's revision "happen" to parents of school-aged kids, said Liu. Early adopters at Cool Mom Tech and BlogHer will be the ones to make their voices heard first.
Liu will appear on Gov 2.0 radio sometime in September to discuss the details with Adriel Hampton and Allison Hornery and announce experts and partners.
K12 News Network was launched in January, 2011 and in addition to receiving the HTC Innovator Award, is also a Circle of Moms Top 25 Political Blog.
Yesterday I sent out an email that included two clear opportunities to leverage my network of 60 volunteers and more than 20,000 followers, subscribers, supporters and opt-ins. The first was for reaching the [X] Bar Gives community, and the second was an opportunity to guest blog on the Gov 2.0 Radio site.
Of the several hundred folks who recieved that email, two people really leveraged the opportunity.
Gov 2.0 reporter Alex Howard blogged a roundup of his stories of the week, including a promo for a big package he's doing today. I tweeted out that roundup as well as a couple direct links to great stories I'd missed.
Social media consultant Shonali Burke responded by asking my to be Blue Key Champion and to involved the [X] Bar Gives community in ongoing efforts to support the U.N.'s regugee programs and the Blue Key campaign. This is a great opportunity for our group to be involved in an important social media for social good campaign.
I see many, many people spending great amounts of time on social media. What I don't often see is effective leveraging of opportunity. Please, take the example of Alex and Shonali and use opportunity to push your mission.